Digital Energy Festival for Africa

The brand new festival unites African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, Africa Energy Forum and the Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly under one banner.

The article first appeared in ESI Africa Issue 4-2020.
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The Digital Energy Festival for Africa will offer an unprecedented six-week tour de force of quality content and engagement from one point of entry, making it the largest ever energy event for the African continent.

Amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy sector in Africa, the organisers of the Digital Energy Festival seek to address critical issues such as pivoting to digital, new financial models and innovative power generation sources to allow attendees to make decisions and formulate recovery plans.

Africa Energy Forum organiser EnergyNet kicks off the Digital Energy Festival with a look ahead to the digitalisation of the energy sector.

“The impact of COVID-19 has clearly magnified the need to be able to deliver energy in times of crises,” says EnergyNet Managing Director Simon Gosling. “The 5th Industrial Revolution theme will explore the relationship between energy and technology with purpose and inclusivity, seeking to understand how technological innovation can work hand in hand with humans to enhance energy security, sustainability and energy access in a post-COVID future. We want to help our community harness this potential so the continent doesn’t just recover – it recovers better.”

Thousands of attendees are expected to register for the digital festival. Make sure you are one of them and access a world of content and AI-powered networking through intimate boardrooms, fireside chats, digital dialogues, coffee mornings, online awards, country spotlights, masterclasses, digital education, certified learning, online sales and lead generation via the digital marketplace.

Highlights: Africa Energy Forum

Digital Dialogue: How the 5th Industrial Revolution can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.

“We are looking at the role of energy in social-economic development,” says Gosling, “and how we can be more profitable by being more responsible and so attract new investors. In a continent that is so polarised by energy access, we want to highlight the new ways of seeking investments, which will come out of the private sector and the multilaterals who are investing in the purpose of investments.” The Digital Energy Festival Forum’s chairperson is none other than Damilola Ogunbiyi, the Chief Executive Officer and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair of UNEnergy.

In an ESI Africa Issue 3-2020 exclusive interview, Ogunbiyi explained: “In these roles, I lead the work with governments, business, UN agencies, philanthropy and civil society to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.”

Ogunbiyi added: “The energy landscape will be fundamentally different in the future. We know it must be different, as today over 840 million people still lack access to energy – 573 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. The global COVID-19 pandemic also shows us that when every part of the world is under pressure, access to electricity is critical to be able to provide the healthcare people need in emergency situations.”

Utility of the Future Competition

Imagine a utility for the future, starting from zero, in a stereotypical sub-Saharan African country. In partnership with AfDB, EnergyNet is running a competition allowing industry professionals and exceptional students from the continent to compete and to be crowned champions.

Government ministers attending include:

• H.E. Honourable Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Electricity & Renewable Energy, Egypt

• H.E. Honourable Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines & Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea

• H.E. Honourable Dr. Eng. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation & Energy (MoWIE), Ethiopia

• H.E. Honourable Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines, & Sustainable Development, Morocco

• H.E. Honourable Osvaldo António Cravid Viegas D’Abreu, Minister of Public Works, Infrastructure, Natural Resources & Environment, São Tomé & Príncipe

• H.E. Honourable Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy, South Africa

• H.E. Honourable Cesar Augusto Hinestrosa Gómez, Vice-Minister of Industry & Energy, Equatorial Guinea

• H.E. Honourable Irene Muloni, Senior Presidential Adviser, Uganda

• H.E. Honourable Mohammed Ghazali, Secretary General, Ministry of Energy, Mines & the Environment, Morocco

Highlights: The Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly

Digital Dialogue: Investment Focus: What next for African Oil & Gas?

With several majors recently announcing cutbacks on oil and gas projects and small caps finding it increasingly difficult to secure financing during the downturn, this forum will discuss what access to capital will look like in Africa in a post COVID-19 world.

Digital Dialogue: E&P: Is it too late for Africa to profit from its resources?

The recent crash in oil & gas prices has dealt a blow in Africa. Licensing rounds have been cancelled, production timelines have been pushed back and debt is a consistent challenge. The Africa oil and gas market has spent huge amounts of time and resources developing its infrastructure and fiscal terms.

Digital Dialogue: Exploring gas opportunities in Nigeria

As Africa and the world continue to emerge from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, find out how Nigeria is working to capitalise on its gas opportunities. This session will focus on how the government and upstream companies can create an environment that attracts the required infrastructure investment.

Discussion will also cover effective strategies for a post COVID-19 world with a particular focus on local content and look at the success of the landmark first in class hybrid corporate financing to Nigeria LNG Limited; and how the industry can continue to access creative financing opportunities.

Fire Side Chat (Women’s Energy Council Interview): Fathima Hussain, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Corporate Finance, Standard Chartered Bank

Hear Fathima Hussain’s thoughts on oil & gas project finance and how she developed her career in the industry.

Highlights: African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa

Virtual opening keynote address:

The opening session of the Digital edition of African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa will focus on private sector participation in the African power sector. Instead of an official address from the host utility and ministry, there will be a fireside discussion with Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa* followed by fireside conversation with André de Ruyter, Group Chief Executive, Eskom, South Africa* [Invited at the time of going to print*]

Roundtable: Doing Business in Africa Series

With current restrictions on international travel, it is more challenging to meet face-to-face and seek out business development opportunities. The objective of the ‘Doing Business in Africa’ series is to bring the country specialists to you through interactive and very intimate digital roundtables.

Women in Leadership

Join the community of women inspiring and achieving change in the African power and energy sectors. Women trailblazers will discuss how mentorship and sponsorship programmes have helped them break through glass ceilings.

The regional Utility CEO Forums for West Africa and Africa

Running successfully since 2012, the Utility CEO Forum is an exclusive series of year-round engagements in a variety of formats between African Utility and IPP CEOs from all over Africa and various expert and developmental partners.

These engagements are by invitation only and conducted in a confidential environment under Chatham House Rule. The forums have a strategic focus on key regions, hosted through a combination of digital and live events with a strategic focus. ESI

“Since the start of the pandemic we have had to postpone our live event twice but, along with our partners and customers, we have fully embraced the digital tools available to us to keep the conversation going. As we proclaimed recently: ‘The show will go on,’ and being part of the Digital Energy Festival is a continuation of celebrating and supporting our continent’s power and energy professionals, projects and pioneers. We look forward to engaging with our long-standing partners online again and also welcoming new faces to our platform.” Chanelle Hingston, Group Director, Power & Energy, Clarion Events Africa

“Reflecting the significance of Africa to our membership, we have developed a unique partnership that offers the opportunity for valuable connections, which are as close to the real world as possible. Building integrated energy businesses with production, cash flow and development pipelines has never been more important in Africa. The Digital Energy Festival will replicate many of the live event experiences our members have come to expect from the Council, whilst giving exclusive access to an additional four premium African energy networks simultaneously.” Iain Pitt, CEO, Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly.

20 October – 26 November 2020 | Your digital gateway to energy in Africa